I’ve seen a lot of “best nine” and “in review” posts on Instagram and Twitter and, quite frankly, I don’t have enough impressive pictures in order for me to post one. I know, I know, it doesn’t matter if the pictures of my year are probably 80% food, 10% poor quality photos and 10% photos I wouldn’t mind people seeing as what should really matter on social media is sharing our real, if somewhat flawed, selves with the world. I think the writer, and photo aversion sufferer, in me just prefers to write a post.
So, put your reading glasses on and prepare yourself. This will (probably) be a long one!
As I write this I’m sat in my room, unable to comprehend the fact that it is not only nearly the end of the year but also the end of the decade. It’s crazy how quickly life is moving and things are changing around me! Considering I’m the kind of person who struggles to remember what she had for breakfast the previous day, I’m more than likely foggy on what happened in the last 10 years. What I do know is that there’s been a lot of happy and sad things in my life but I’m incredibly grateful for the people in it and places I’ve been to and – as cliche as it sounds – everything does happen for a reason.
Thankfully, this post isn’t me trying to pick out what I did in the last ten years and come up with a fragmented post about it. This is all about 2019. Let’s see how it turned out.
As some of you will know, I started 2019 on the cusp of a relationship. I’d been seeing a guy since late last year, enjoying dating and getting to know him, and I had it in my head that – though he was by no means “The One” – we were going in the direction that meant we’d be kissing when the clock struck 12 for a New Year, exchanging cards on Valentine’s Day and enjoying whatever it is that people in relationships do. Unfortunately, a few weeks after I wrote that post, the guy let me know he wasn’t looking for a relationship and – not content with being friends, because all the rom coms I’d watched swear off that kind of thing (and there was no way I was starting the year off messy!) – we parted ways.
For a while after, and even sometimes now, I was pretty sad. I let this one thing get to me and make me think I couldn’t possibly find someone again. I didn’t go on any dates after that and dabbled between deleting and re-installing all the dreaded apps.
Whilst it would’ve been nice to have found someone to do all the stuff I enjoyed when I last dated, I’m glad I gave myself the time to do other things and remember that there will be more great dates, relationships and even heartbreaks to come – it’s a fact of life you can’t avoid.
Aside from baking, books and whatever else I’ve written about on my blog, one thing I do love is exploring the world. I know it sounds like every boy on every dating app but getting lost in a new place, new ways of living and just being away from home for a while is one of the greatest things.
I’ve written two posts about my trip to Walt Disney World, Florida , a trip I throughly enjoyed and haven’t stopped talking about since. I last visited the theme park when I was six and so much has changed since. As well as my Grandma no longer being with us, I was no longer afraid of the rides (or at least I was slightly less afraid; I think I’ll always be a wimp!) or the people parading around as characters, so the trip this time was bittersweet. I missed my Grandma whilst I was there, and it upset me that my Grandad didn’t feel up to it, but I was thankful that I was able to make such wonderful memories with my family.
I also visited Portugal this year with my friends. Even though we did pick a bit of a touristy, party area, I was made up to explore the Old Town and other little hidden gems there as well. It’s been very strange navigating friendships this year, as our circumstances and personalities keep changing, but I was grateful to have my friends to myself for a moment to eat, drink and sunbath.
In July 2019, three years of reading, writing and trying to keep awake in lectures came to an end. Even though my uni experience was not how I expected in terms of the social side, I’m glad I got the most out of my course, read as much as possible and got a good grade for it.
I’m disabled, that’s something that isn’t going to change with the snap of a finger. My hydrocephalus means that, at one point, the doctors were worried I wouldn’t be able to talk, walk or do what most people can. I think this early placing limitation on me made me doubt myself, if other people were questioning if I could do stuff or not: could I?
Thankfully, I was able to prove myself, and all the other people who allowed my disability to become a barrier, wrong as I graduated with a first class English degree. This left me with a bit of imposter syndrome for a while but, in moments when I question myself, I remind myself of this moment and the fact that – hopefully – I can only get better from there.
As you’ll know, I participated in NaNoWrimo this year. Whilst I didn’t get to the 50,000 word mark, I made a good start with a piece of work I know – after a lot of planning and redrafting – I’ll be happy with in the future.
I also completed the first in a series of children’s books. It’s going to primarily be for my nephew, as it’s about him and his adventures with his squishy, squashy puggy pal Gus, but – if it’s well received- I might think about sending it off to publishers.
The Start Writing Fiction course (Open University) was what started me off. After Portugal, I got worried I wouldn’t have a “thing”. So, I signed up, started learning and now I feel a lot more confident and comfortable writing as I have done for years.
I celebrated a year of blogging this year and, up to now, I have 200 followers. As someone who started this blog to relieve post-uni boredom, I’m happy with how it’s grown …and also surprised. Even though I’ve wanted to do this for a while, I never thought I’d ever do it…as a true procrastinator!
I changed my blog up a bit this year, talking more about books, music, TV/film and whatever came into my head. I’m nowhere near famous blogger territory but, now I think about it, that’s not the goal. Though that’d be nice, no blogger can deny thinking it would be, I’m happy if my post reaches anyone. I’m happy if one person comments, likes or engages with me or my content.
I’ve probably missed something from this blog post, as this year has been a long one (or it has certainly felt long!), but I just want to wish everyone a (premature) Happy New Year. I don’t know what 2020 will hold for me and, even though it does scare me, I’m just going to let the year go however it goes.